Sunday 28 April 2024

Lesvos - Day 2 - 18th April 2024

 A adventure:

We opted for a post breakfast visit to Metochi and a slow drive past the Christou got the day off to a flyer with a fine Caspian Tern at out on the mud with its red monster bill glowing. Kentish Plovers scurried around and Black and Blue Headed Wagtails were around the edges while Black Storks and Flamingos were seen.

Caspian Tern 

Kentish Plovers - Jim Willett

Crested Lark - Jim Willett

A walk and drive around the lake was excellent with two reed fringe Little Crakes, Squacco and Purple Herons and Little Grebes as well as a host of Dragonflies including Red-veined Darters and Common and Lesser Emperors.

Purple Heron - Jim Willett


Squacco - Jim Willett

A scopable Eastern Olivaceous Warbler is always a bonus- Jim Willett

A Great Reed Warbler grumbled away but remained out of sight and up above Long-legged and Common Buzzards, Peregrine and Short-toed Eagles were found with Alpine and Common Swifts zooming between.  I could hear Rock Nuthatches but they were too far up the slopes but we did find Eastern Black-eared Wheatears and a couple of large Starred Agamas.

Masked Shrike - Antony Wren

Masked Shrike - Jim Willett

Starred Agama - ACV

Levant Water Frog in the usual trough - Antony Wren

Stripe-necked Terrapin - Antony Wren

Two Swallowtail species along with Large Wall Brown, Orbed Underwing Skipper and Clouded Yellow were noted and several Chequered Scorpions were found under rocks.

Broad-bodied Chaser

Meadow Brown sp

Oriental Hornet

Brown Argus

Harvester Ants

Chequered Scorpion

Incoming! - ACV

Masked and Woodchat Shrikes obliged and a Collared Flycatcher was heard in the Wych Elms before we moved around to the lower part of the Potamia where Western Rock Nuthatches were feeding young at a nest along with singing Eastern Subalpine and Orphean Warblers. Cirl Buntings and even a male Cretzschmar's Bunting were found on the wires where more Woodchats were noted. 

Western Rock Nuthatch


Chequered Scorpion  - Jim Willett

Woodchat - Jim Willett

Chequered Scorpion - Antony Wren

Sombre Tits were heard but eluded us for the time being while a Middle Spotted Woodpecker did the decent thing and landed on a telegraph pole briefly before giving excellent flight views – it would prove to be the best one all week!

Small Skimmer

Back for lunch at the Pela where the puppies entertained and Red-rumped Swallows, House Martins and Swallows splash bathed from the swimming pool and then back out to the KSP and environs for the evening. 

Puppy love - Jim Willett 

These four entertained us all week - all dumped, all off to new Dutch homes soon

A large Glow-worm

Copper Skink - only my second on the island

House Martin - Antony Wren

House Martin - Antony Wren

Red-rumped Swallow - Antony Wren

The waders were much the same although there were no calidrids this time but in the pan behind, four adult and a 1st-summer Little Gull were ample compensation as they are always a scarce species here.

Black-winged Stilt - Antony Wren

The Black Storks had reached 13 on Alykes along with exactly 40 gloriously vivid Glossy Ibis, 12 Little Egret and nine Grey Heron and a few Ruff and Wood Sandpipers. Suddenly a mass of flava Wagtails came up where we had seen none as they were being chased by a very unexpected female Merlin! I have only seen a couple of spring birds before.

Black Storks stalking

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Black Storks

Glossy Ibises

Glossy Ibises

Glossy Ibises

Glossy Ibises - Andrew Litchfield

Black Stork - Andrew Litchfield

Glossy Ibises and Little Egret - Andrew Litchfield

Glossy Ibises

Merlin - Andrew Litchfield - still not sure how he got this shot!

Black Stork - Jim Willett

Down at the racecourse and sheepfields we soon had excellent views of Whinchat, seven Red-throated Pipits and 28 Short-toed Larks although Tawny Pipit proved elusive although the distant four Bee-eaters on the fence were a welcome sight indeed.

Common Tern - Andrew Litchfield

Short-toed Lark - Jim Willett

Red-throated Pipit

Short-toed Lark

Blue-tailed Damselfly

Blue-tailed Damselfly

The flowers on the beach was wondrous with Stocks, Red and Yellow Poppies and Woolly Chamomile. We bumped back through Loutzaria with two Hoopoes putting on a grand show on the track and Whinchats, Corn Buntings and Crested Larks all perching up.

Crimson Speckled

Corn Bunting - Antony Wren

Roadside Recovery Terrapin Service

Yellow-horned Poppy - Antony Wren

Lysimachia atropurpurea

The field by the big Mulberry held a Spur Winged Plover with two Stone-Curlews watching on, a host of brightly coloured flava Wagtails while a female Montagu's Harrier sailed through, dropped into a field and disappeared.

Spur Winged Plover

Stone-Curlew - Andrew Litchfield

Crested Lark - Antony Wren

Crested Lark - Antony Wren

Corn Bunting - ACV

A final push up to the Tsiknias riverbank for a slightly higher view gave us three Purple Herons, three Gull-billed Terns hawking the fields and the hoped for Montagu's once again along with a bonus 2nd cy male Hen Harrier. Sedge and Reed Warblers were added to the list before a final look at the river mouth where the Gull-billeds had relocated to and were now sat amongst the Commons, a single Sandwich Tern and three 2nd cy Med Gulls and then capped off with four Caspian Terns flying in from the west before the whole lots moved east en masse! Quite amazing.

2nd cy male Hen Harrier - Jim Willet

Poppies - Jim Willet

Purple Heron - Andrew Litchfield

Purple Heron - Jim Willett

Purple Heron - Jim Willett

Black-headed Wagtail - Jim Willett

Black-headed Wagtail - always a fine way to end a day

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